The psalmist exhorts the redeemed to praise God and to observe his manifold providence, 1-3, over travelers, 4-9; over captives, 10-16; over sick men, 17-22; over sailors, 23-32; and in many varieties of life, 33-43.
1 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. For his mercy endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
3 And gathered them out of the lands from the east, from the west, from the north, and from the south.
4 They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way. They found no city to dwell in.
5 Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.
6 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
7 And he led them forth by the right way so that they might go to a city of habitation.
8 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
9 For he satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness.
10 There are those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron,
11 Because they rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High.
12 Therefore, he brought down their heart with labor. They fell down, and there was no one to help.
13 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke their bonds apart.
15 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
16 For he has broken the gates of brass and cut the bars of iron apart.
17 Fools, because of their transgression and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
18 Their soul abhors all manner of food, and they draw near to the gates of death.
19 Then they cry to the LORD in their trouble, and he saves them out of their distresses.
20 He sent his word and healed them and delivered them from their destructions.
21 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving and declare his works with rejoicing.
23 Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters,
24 These see the works of the LORD and his wonders in the deep.
25 For he commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up its waves.
26 They mount up to the heaven. They go down again to the depths. Their soul is melted because of trouble.
27 They reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man. They are at their wit's end.
28 Then they cry to the LORD in their trouble, and he brings them out of their distresses.
29 He makes the storm a calm so that the waves of the sea are still.
30 Then they are glad because they are quiet. Thus he brings them to their desired haven.
31 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
32 Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
33 He turns rivers into a wilderness, the water-springs into dry ground,
34 And a fruitful land into barrenness because of the wickedness of those who dwell in it.
35 He turns the wilderness into a standing water and dry ground into water-springs.
36 And there he makes the hungry to dwell so that they may prepare a city for habitation,
37 And sow the fields and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase.
38 He also blesses them so that they are multiplied greatly. He does not allow their cattle to decrease.
39 Again, they are diminished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.
40 He pours contempt upon princes and causes them to wander in the wilderness where there is no way.
41 Yet he sets the poor on high from affliction and increases their families like a flock.
42 The righteous shall see it and rejoice, and all iniquity shall stop her mouth.
43 Whoever is wise and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the LORD.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 107[➚]
John Calvin's Chapter Summary:
The Psalmist teaches us, in the first place, that human affairs are not regulated by the fickle and uncertain wheel of fortune, but that we must observe the judgments of God in the different vicissitudes which occur in the world, and which men imagine happen by chance. Consequently, adversity and all the ills which mankind endure, as shipwrecks, famines, banishments, diseases, and disasters in war, are to be regarded as so many tokens of God's displeasure, by which he summons them, on account of their sins, before his judicial throne. But prosperity, and the happy issue of events, ought also to be attributed to his grace, in order that he may always receive the praise which he deserves, that of being a merciful Father, and an impartial Judge. About the close of the psalm, he inveighs against those ungodly men who will not acknowledge God's hand, amid such palpable demonstrations of his providence.
[v.9] - Quoted in Luke 1:53.
[v.29] - Reference, Matthew 8:26; Mark 4:39-41; Luke 8:23-25.